The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) recently honored Fred Klipsch, chairman of Klipsch Group, Inc. and member of the Marian University Board of Trustees, with the NCEA Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in recognition of his lifelong dedication to Catholic education at their gala held in Washington, D.C.
Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener, who recommended Klipsch for the award, said, “One of the greatest examples of NCEA leadership for children who really have no voice in legislature is Fred Klipsch. He wants to make sure every kid in this country has a chance.”
Klipsch was honored for developing the Indiana Scholarship Tax Credit Program. Over the past 20 years, the Educational Choice Trust has distributed more than $20 million to students across Indiana and increased school enrollment with vouchers for students.
“He [Klipsch] wants to make sure every kid in this country has a chance. It’s not only about the child, it’s about our culture, it’s about society, and the future of our economy,” President Elsener said.
Marian University senior, Katie Barrett also attended the gala and received a scholarship in Klipsch’s honor.
“I felt unbelievably honored to receive the scholarship and to be able to represent Marian University at the ceremony. One of my favorite parts about the experience was meeting the other recipients and scholars,” said Barrett. “There are so many amazing people in our communities, like Mr. Fred Klipsch, who are working tirelessly to ensure a quality education for all students. It was so humbling to listen to all of their inspiring stories. In learning about all of these wonderful people, I felt blessed to be going into the teaching profession and to have attended a Catholic school my whole life,” she continued.
Barrett is majoring in secondary education and biology with plans to teach upon graduation. She is also a part of the San Damiano Scholars Program, a unique program at Marian University committed to creating lay leaders for the Catholic Church where in students dedicate themselves to actively engaging in service activities, maintaining a high level of academic achievement, and taking additional faith-based courses as they pursue their degrees.
Throughout her time at Marian University, Barrett has dedicated herself to serving others: volunteering at Cathedral’s soup kitchen, organizing a 5K to support the O’Connor House (a Christian residential home for single mothers), serving as the activities director for the College Mentor for Kids Program at Marian University, and travelling to an orphanage in Guatemala for a summer service immersion.
The NCEA Seton Award is named after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in recognition of her lifelong dedication to teaching and children. The award is presented annually to exemplary individuals whose support and service impacts Catholic education and the well-being of the nation’s youth.